>”Don’t throw ADA at me; it makes me angry.”
Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that the principal who growled this at me was actually quoting the wrong law; he should have said “IDEA” or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This quote is a strong memory from Amigo’s primary years. We’d reminded the principal that he needed to use appropriate methods for dealing with a blind child, and he put on an attitude. That attitude was part of his problem; he didn’t want to recognize the need for reasonable accommodation, much less take responsibility for accommodating for a student’s disability.
Now the position is different. I’m seeking reasonable accommodation for my hearing loss. I’ve handled all necessary adaptation for fifteen years – buying and maintaining hearing aids (not covered by insurance), working with the IT dept. to get a usable phone and a slightly longer cord so the computer didn’t interfere with the telecoil settings on my hearing aids.
Now I’m seeking a preferential placement: one that will allow me to use my teaching skills, but not constantly adapt to noise levels around me. It’s taking forever, and I don’t feel supported. Thanks to our clueless governor, when our contract expires in July, I may no longer have a professional association for support, either.
ADA, however, is a federal law, not state. It should still work in my favor. I’m not talking about a lawsuit or taking anyone to court; I’m just looking for a way to continue teaching despite my disability.
Documenting this disability feels impossible. I jumped through hoops to get an appointment with the Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor (ENT), who told me he couldn’t write what I needed because he had no knowledge of teaching. He then referred me to a doctor in Occupational Medicine. My regular clinic wouldn’t take me unless I get a referral from my employer or it’s a workers’ compensation case. The other large medical group in town agreed to make an appointment. Now I just have to worry about whether or not this doctor can write the letter I need.
This garbage is not helping my depression recovery. Not a bit.